|Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 54):|
Just to add to this discussion... Hawaii is so much more than just another beach destination. Those who haven't been just can't understand. The climate is different from the Caribbean. The culture is different. The ethos and feel of just about everything is so much better in Hawaii IMO.
This forum is notorious for attempting to make Hawaii something it's not. Hawaii IS
a beach market destination. Yes, Hawaii has a unique culture, but so do each of the beach markets in Mexico & the Caribbean. Yes, Hawaii has oodles of activities outside the beach, but so do each of the beach markets in Mexico & the Caribbean. Yes, Hawaii has its own unique/exclusive activities, but so do each of the beach markets in Mexico & the Caribbean.
The fantasy resorts within Hawaii are beautiful but are manufactured, man-made resorts comprised of plants, animals and scenery not native to the islands... and even if you get a decent room rate, they're horrendously expensive. Resort fees, parking fees, in-room amenity fees, etc. Want to eat? Expect to pay at least $30 for a breakfast buffet, $25 for a hamburger, $14-$18 per cocktail/frozen drink, $30 for a pizza, $3-$4 for a soda, etc. Dinner for two will often run well over $100 with drinks, for very mediocre food. The Na Pali Coast is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, but seeing it requires a boat -- you can't easily rent one, so you'll have to do a tour that will cost at least $100 per person.
Alternatively, from the East, flights to Mexico & the Caribbean are half the price as those to Hawaii and the lesser travel time yields an extra days' vacation. Booked in advance, mid-upper range all-inclusive like Dreams can be had for less than $400/night all-in for a family of four (and less than $200 during the shoulder season).
Hawaii is best enjoyed if you stay at a condohotel, cook most of your own meals, and spend your time sightseeing. You'll still pay a vacation premium, of course. But the reality is... these types of vacations appeal only to a small niche market. Hence why Mexico/Caribbean continues to soar in popularity particularly among Gen Y.
IMO, Hawaii is simply a poor value. Until the past decade, many hotels (especially on Oahu) hadn't been renovated in over 20 years but still charged a premium. This is because of high land cost (rent) compounded with the fact that beach markets are still price sensitive destinations... look how many luxury properties throughout the islands experienced financial problems in the past few years. Hilton bought the Waikoli Village for pennies on the dollar, but most of the rooms still have original carpet & furnishings from when the property first opened in 1988.
We don’t care what your next flight is.